August 6th
Benjamin M. Johnson & Michael Stimola
August 6, 2017 - August 19, 2017

Artists' Reception Sunday, August 6th from 5-7pm.

Painter Benjamin M. Johnson-returns to the Field Gallery with amazingly detailed bird paintings and island landscapes. "My current studio work is multi-directional. I am continuing my exploration of the landscape and the avian kingdom. These are familiar subjects to me, yet they always reveal new layers, new beauties, new complexities.

I am also developing a series of representational paintings that poetically juxtapose a wide range of subjects in one canvas. These works weave together narratives of history, science, nature, spirituality, and aesthetics, to tell a subtle and beautiful story of our collective human experience."

Photographer Michael Stimola says "The longer and closer I look, the more I see.  The more patient I am, the more likely emotions, memories and associations merge with what I see, and the more satisfied I become that I can make a picture that pleases me and can share with others."

I photograph places and subjects I am very familiar with as well as new ones encountered on travels near and far. This year’s island photographs were made at places I’ve photographed before. Every return offers new opportunities and challenges to see, interpret and portray them in a fresh way. Sometimes my photographing is carefully planned – multiple visits to a place, some note taking and planning; sometimes spontaneous. I never leave home without my camera.

The photographs, Autumn Light 1, 3 and 5, are from a series made at one of my favorite island locations, Nat’s Farm in West Tisbury. I was heading up island to photograph at another location when I saw low angled, setting sunlight illuminating the recently hayed meadow in a dramatic way. I jumped out of my car and ran through the meadow photographing. I knew I didn’t have much time before the light disappeared so I moved and shot quickly. My experience and intuition informed my rushed shooting, but I also had a sense of what the final photographs would look like.

Most of my photographs are not just about literal, physical places and objects, but also remembered and imagined ones. They are more than visual information. I want the viewer to have a sense of how I feel about what I’ve seen and experienced. And, while the paintings and photographs of other artists form a deep reservoir of influence, I strive to make photographs that reflect my personal experience of a place or subject. It is said that painters must decide what to add compositionally, and photographers what to leave out. My process allows me to add, however subtly. Beyond the careful choices involving lenses, exposure settings and composition, I use techniques that include combining multiple images – more than one photograph or multiple scans - which represent, for me, the multiplicity of ways a place or subject may be experienced.

Artists' reception, held from 5-7 pm at the Field Gallery in West Tisbury, next to the West Tisbury Free Public Library. It is free and open to the public.